#Emmanuel Macron hosted a visit from the US President this week. But was the visit all it appeared to be? Or was Macron playing a rather canny game in winning round the US Commander-in-Chief?

Flattery wins every time

The timing of the visit was surely no mistake. Macron invited Trump, not only as the guest of honour for the Bastille Day celebrations but also in his role as Commander-in-Chief to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the US intervention into World War 1. He treated the president to a sumptuous Michelin starred meal in the Eiffel Tower and a tour of Napoleon's tomb. Trump [VIDEO] was won over, "We have a very good relationship, a good friendship," he said, with a matey pat on the French president's back.

Advertisements
Advertisements

For his visit to Saudi Arabia recently, Trump's image was projected onto the wall of his hotel, he was shown a sword dance and received a gold necklace bearing the country's highest honour. In Poland, friendly crowds were brought in by the busload to cheer Trump's campaign style speeches.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quick to spot the opportunity for flattery with the incoming president even before he was inaugurated. Abe gave Trump the gift of a gold plated golf club and notably, Trump has confessed that relations between the two are harmonious, to say the least, claiming before their meeting in Italy that "we have a great friendship."

What about UK and Germany?

#Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit the White House and the opportunity for a diplomatic coup ended in farce as the two were photographed awkwardly holding hands like teenagers on a first date.

Advertisements

A return visit was offered to Trump, but just as quickly postponed by the US Chief until 2018 or at least until the British public supports him coming.

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is not one for flattery or ingratiating herself at any cost and stoically refused to shake Trump's hand in their meeting. She attempted to win round the president by inviting his daughter Ivanka to Germany instead.

What is the payoff?

It would appear that some leaders have cottoned on that, as a man with a colossal ego, coupled with the need to be liked, it is easier to pander to Trump than to take him on head-to-head.

The potential trade war that was looming for Japan, as Trump demanded more funding from Tokyo for US troops stationed in Japan, was not even mentioned during the meeting in February this year.

It seems Macron has tapped into something that certainly the UK has not. He is flattering the president, showering him with attention and massaging his ego, and who knows where this will lead and exactly what Macron's plans are? He would certainly like to get Trump's support for the Paris Climate agreement and this could be his best way of getting it. #president Trump